South Island community groups receive Meridian Energy funding

Twenty community projects across the South Island have received support from Meridian Energy’s community fund in the latest round of funding.

More than $142,000 has been awarded to the projects in total. Meridian’s community funds programme supports thriving communities by investing in community led groups and projects in the places where we generate power from water and wind.

The Waitaki Valley Medical Trust received more than $16,000 to upgrade the Kurow community gym. The gym will be relocated to the medical centre and used for rehabilitation of community members who have injuries or who have recently had surgery.

The upgraded gym, which will include new equipment, will be particularly valuable to the elderly and people who have had hip and knee replacements as they will no longer have to travel long distances for treatment. The gym will remain open to the general community and local sports teams, too.

Another project to receive funding is the Southern Stars Early Learning Centre in Te Anau, which has received $20,000 for an extension and refit of its building. Centre management committee member Megan Willans says Southern Stars is a community owned learning centre providing quality education to Fiordland tamariki up to five years of age.

“We are so pleased to have received the funding from Meridian Energy which will go towards expanding the internal floor area, including building a new sleep room for children under two-years, a staff room, a family area and other upgrades for the centre. It will also provide us with the potential to expand the capacity of the centre in the future as the local population grows,” says Ms Willans.

Heritage Twizel has been awarded more than $8000 to develop a heritage trail around the town. The group’s chair Colin McKinney says the 6.5 kilometre trail goes around the Twizel township, travelling past historical points of interest. The funding will be used to produce noticeboards and plinths which will guide visitors around the trail.

“For some time we have been planning a trail which will highlight sites of interest relating to Twizel's early years as a Hydro Town. It will be a permanent record of historical interest, an ongoing educational resource, and a walking or cycling track for both locals and visitors to the town,” says Mr McKinney.

The full list of South Island groups to receive funding from Meridian Energy’s community fund is as follows:

  • Waitaki Valley Medical Trust - $16,473 for upgrading and relocating the community gym
  • Lower Waitaki Playcentre - $1200 to build a shed to store outdoor equipment
  • Waitaki Valley Community Society - $15,000 to create a statue of ex All Black Captain Richie McCaw*
  • Twizel Community Care Trust - $1224 for plants, trees, soil and timber to create a community garden
  • Twizel Football - $4000 for a container to store the Club’s equipment*
  • Twizel Kindergarten - $7000 to replace old flooring with new carpet and lino
  • Heritage Twizel - $8335 to create a Heritage Trail around the township
  • Te Whare Mahana Twizel Cultural Centre - $4077 to upgrade the Centre’s electrical wiring
  • Otematata Community Sports Club - $2783 to purchase a new rowing machine
  • Ohau Conservation Trust - $7500 for a container to store the Trust’s equipment
  • Nicol’s Blacksmith Historic Trust - $2000 for a second forge to provide live blacksmith demonstrations for the public
  • Glenavy Fishing Camp - $4,223 to purchase a defibrillator for the community
  • Northern Southland College Board of Trustees - $6476 to purchase Chrome Book laptops for upskilling students
  • Northern Southland Community Pool Trust - $5000 to replace the existing pool cover and purchase a cover for the baby pool
  • Dipton Community Baths Trust - $4,000 towards re-roofing the pool*
  • Te Anau Community Board/ Te Anau Cycling - $15,450 to build a picnic and shade area for the new multi-use pump track
  • Southern Stars Early Learning Centre Te Anau - $20,000 to extend and upgrade the centre.
  • Awamoko Hall and Domain Trust - $4109 to replace flooring in the hall’s kitchen and meeting rooms
  • Hakataramea Mobile Kindergarten - $4000 to construct boxing around the play area with bark chip
  • Omarama Golf Club - $10,000 for two water storage tanks, a pump and electrics

*conditional on meeting funding requirements.